National Earthquake Early Warning system to be operated next year


National Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system to be operated next year


Jan. 27, 2023

Global Korean Post


Across Canada, natural disasters like floods, landslides, wildfires and earthquakes are affecting the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Canadians.


Natural Resources Canada, January 26 announced that British Columbia is installing up to 50 earthquake early warning sensors in high seismic risk areas.


These sensors will connect to the national Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system that will be operational in 2024, supplementing and complementing several hundred sensors already installed by Natural Resources Canada.


The system will give seconds to tens of seconds of warning before the strongest shaking arrives at coastal communities in British Columbia and will assist in the protection of critical transportation infrastructure in British Columbia.


In the spring of 2022, the first sensors for the national EEW system were installed at the BC Ferries’ terminal at Horseshoe Bay as part of a suite of initiatives being brought forward by the Government of Canada to strengthen the safety, security and resilience of Canada’s emergency readiness infrastructure.


Building on NRCan’s long history as the authoritative source for earthquake information for Canada, NRCan’s EEW system will provide notification of earthquakes through a network of sensors and alerting systems for at-risk areas around the country.


The EEW system provides seconds to tens of seconds of notice before strong shaking starts, warnings that can help reduce injuries, deaths and property losses. It will be used to generate alerts for critical infrastructure, industry and the public, helping to protect people, communities, infrastructure and the environment during an event where every second counts.


When the full system is operational in 2024, more than 10 million people in Canada living in the most earthquake-prone regions of the country will receive Earthquake Early Warning alerts, providing a few precious seconds to take action: usually to drop, cover and hold on.


Alerts from the EEW system could also be used by infrastructure safety systems to take action automatically, such as:

  • Triggering trains to slow down
  • Stopping traffic from driving onto bridges or into tunnels
  • Diverting incoming air traffic
  • Allowing surgeons to stop surgery
  • Closing gas valves
  • Opening fire hall and ambulance bay doors